Genesis 11:8-10 – What made Abraham a great man?

WHAT MADE ABRAHAM A GREAT MAN?

 

Hebrews 11v8-10.

INTRODUCTION:

 

There are many famous people in the world. Those alive today and those from history.  Bill Clinton is famous. Cliff Richard … The Queen … Pavarotti … Saddam Hussain … Hitler … King Henry viii … Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. These and many others are all famous. But of how many would we say, “He /she was a great person”

Would you consider Henry viii a great man? Hiltler? Even Pavarotti – who is great in size – he has a wonderful voice, but is he great?  Will these be famous 100 years from now or will they be confined to the pages of dusty history books? Greatness is when a person’s life has lasting impact for good.

Abraham is such a man. To the Jews the most important person next to God is Abraham. He is identified with God. The GOD OF ABRAHAM. To the Muslims he is the greatest man after their prophet Muhammad. To the Christian he is the greatest man after Jesus. The Jews got angry with Jesus when he claimed to be greater than Abraham.

Are you greater than our father Abraham? [Jn.8v53]

They were angry because in their minds their could be no-one greater than Abraham.

 

The question has to be, “What was it about Abraham that made him great?”

 

Ultimately it was not what Abraham did that made him great but rather it was what God did to Abraham that made him great.

The Lord said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people

and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.”

I will make you into a great nation

and I will bless you.

I will make your name great

and you will be a blessing. [Gen 12v1-2].

 

God made Abraham into a great man but that does not mean that Abraham was not involved. Abraham was not passive in this process. Listen to verse 4.

“So Abraham left as the Lord had told him.”

By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place

he would later receive as his inheritance,

obeyed and went, even though he did not know

where he was going” {Heb. 11v8}

 

The first step in Abraham becoming a great man was the he OBEYED.

 

1. RESPONSIVE SAVING FAITH. [v.8]

 

God asked Abraham to get up and go and he got up and went. He didn’t know his final destination. He didn’t have any tangible guarantees. All he had was God’s word. He took God at his word and he obeyed.

True faith is believing God’s word and acting upon it.

This was the first step in Abraham’s pilgrimage of faith. If it had been a man who had called Abraham he would have been wise to ask for a detailed plan of the future prospects. But God doesn’t deal with us in that way and we can’t treat him like that. He is the God of Glory, the one and only true God. If Abraham really believed that then he had to be prepared to do what God said.

 

It was at this point in Abraham’s life that he came into a relationship with God. Why? Because when God called him he responded in obedient Faith.

It is the same with us and the Lord Jesus Christ. We have far more evidence than Abraham ever had. We have the Bible, the Word of God. Abraham never had that.

Jesus did many other miraculous signs that are not recorded in this book.

But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the christ

the Son of God, and that believing you may have life through his name

[Jn. 20v30-31]

 

But it is no good saying,”Yes I believe that Jesus is the Son of God. The Bible is true”  If we do not accept him inreservedly and follow him obediently them we are wasting our time.

 

ILLUST: If I look at a map and see that the A3 will take me from Godalming to London. And then only ever look at the map I will never get to London. Until I get in my car and follow the map and obey the rules of the road and drive I will remain where I am.

 

So it is with Jesus Christ. The first step is responsive obedience to his call. We must unreservedly accepted his Lordship over everthing in our lives.

To extend the illustration of the map to London; it is God who provides the map, the car, the petrol, etc but we must still respond and obey.

We can’t say to Jesus,”Well, Lord, you give me a detailed plan of my life and what is going to be invloved them I can decide what to do.”  Jesus Christ is not a professional adviser or a career guidance teacher whose suggestions we can pick and choose from.

If we are going to be Christ’s disciples then he demands our obedience.

God told Abraham to go and he went. He believed God and took him at his word.

 

The first step is RESPONSIVE SAVING FAITH then comes DAILY LIVING FAITH.

 

 

2. DAILY LIVING FAITH.

 

How you start is important. How you continue is equally important.

By faith he [Abraham] made his home in the Promised Land

like a stranger in a foreign country,

as did Isaac and Jacob who were heirs with him

of the same promise. [Heb.11v9]

 

Abraham was a man of Faith. He was a great man. But that does not mean that he had his head in the clouds. He was a real man dealing with real issues of life. He had to deal with his family and their problems and conflicts. [eg. Hagar and Sarah] He had to deal with his servants and slaves. With sheep and goats. With international leaders like Phaorah. He had to muster an army to rescue his nephew Lot. He was involved in the affairs of the world.

He wasn’t a perfect man. He made mistakes and suffered the consequences of those mistakes. But the general direction and goal of his life was to obey God.

 

When Abraham arrived in the promised land he never conquered it or possessed it but lived there as a “stranger in a foreign land’  It would have been very easy for Him, esp. as he became wealthier to acquired land and settled down to a comfortable lifestyle. Instead for 100 years he lived in tents as a nomad moving from place to place and never having a place to call his own.

I am sure there were times when his mind went back to the lush green valleys of Ur from where he had come; and the temptation was to return there.

 

Abraham had a correct view of God and a vision of a life beyond the boundaries of this world. His vision was not limited to earthly things. He knew that there was something far more important than a permanent dwelling in the Land of Canaan. Abraham never forgot that he was a pilgrim – a stranger in a foreign country.

 

As Christian we too are strangers and aliens. 1 Peter 1v1.

“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,

to God’s elect, strangers in the world….”

1 Peter 2v11

“Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world,

to abstain from sinful desires which war against the soul”

 

Peter is warning God’s people not to become entangled in this world’s system. We tend to think of “sinful desires” as adultery and others kinds of sexual immorality. But the most subtle and dangerous desires are when we adopt the priorities and norms of the world.

In our affluent western society I believe that one of the biggest danger in the church is MATERIALISM. It is so easy to get caught up in this race to have a better house, a better car, a better job even when it is at expense of our spiritual well-being. If you knew God was calling you to go and do some work for him somewhere else could you walk away from your possessions? How much do your possessions mean to you?

 

[v10]    But why could Abraham do this? Why could he walk away from his home country and live all his life in a strange land?  Why was he so detached from the materialism that preoccupies so many? What lay behind the faith of this Great Man?

 

“For he was looking forward to the city with foundations,

whose architect and builder is God”. [ Heb.11v10]

 

Abraham never settled in the land of Canaan, not because of where he had come from but because of were he was going.

Abraham had a vision of the future. He knew that this earthly life was not the be all and end all of existence. There was much much more. Death was not the end but the beginning. It is a doorway into a whole new world of exciting discovery. Death for the christian is not the end.

ILLUST: C.S. Lewis’ Narnia Book ” The Lion, the witch and the wardrobe” The cupboard seems like an ordinary cupboard but when the children pass through the cupboard they enter a whole new realm.

 

If we become preoccupied with the things of this world we loose the point of what it means to be a Christian. Indeed, we loose the point of life itself.  The writer of Ecclesiastes says that if we consider life from an under the sun point of view [from an earthly, human perspective] then it is meaningless. If there is nothing after this life then what is the point of life.

 

ILLUST: How many people spend their whole lives collecting possesion and paying off a mortgage only to die and leave it all behind. We become slaves to our possessions.

 

Hebrews 13v14.”for here we do not have a enduring city,

but we are looking for a city that is to come”

 

ILLUST: If those who put there money into BCCI had known in advance that it was going to go bankurpt do you think they would have put their money into it.  We would think that anyone who invested in an institution that was going to fall apart was absolutely stupid.

 

But that is exactly what people are doing when they invest in this world rather than in the one to come. Jesus warn about this:

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth,

where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.

But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven ….

For where your treasure is there will your heart be also.”

[Matthew  6v19-21]

 

What was the secret of Abraham’s faith?  He focussed on the eternal rather than the temporal. He sometimes went off track. But he always came back. Wherever he went and pitched his tent he built an altar – a symbol of his worship of and communication with God. Abraham’s life was characterised by a daily living faith in the God who had called him. He didn’t get bogged down in the petty problems of this life.

When we are preoccupied with our own little world things can get out of all proportion. When we have an eternal view of things, life is put into its right perspective.

If Abraham had built a city in the land of Canaan it would soon have become like any other city. Filled with tears and sorrow and crying and loneliness and pain. Filled with liars and cheats and prostitutes and idolators. In stead he was content to live as a pilgrim in a tent and to look froward to a city that God would build. As city that John describes in Rev.21v1-4

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had   passed away,  and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her       husband. And I heard loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is        with men and He will live with him. They will be his people, and God himself will be with       them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. there will be no more           death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has past away”.

 

What a place that will be!! By faith Abraham looked forward to God’s city. We are not only saved by faith but we are expected to live by faith putting eternal and heavenly things before temporal and earthly things.

“All these people were still living by faith when they died.
they did not receive the things promised;

they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance.

And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.

People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own.

If they had been thinking of the country they had left,

they would have had opportunity to return.

Instead, they were longing for a better country – a heavenly one.

Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God,

 for he has prepared a city for them” [Heb11v13-16]

 

Abraham responded by faith when God called him and he obeyed the word of God. He continued to live by faith until the day he died. He lived as a traveller in a tent, his roots in this world were very loose because his real home was in the City of God. God blessed Abraham in this life . God gives us many things to enjoy along the way and he wants us to enjoy them but to hold them loosely because they are only transitory. The eternal is the goal.

 

Abraham was great because the God in whom he place his faith was great.

 

Have you put your faith in God and responded to his called?

If you have are you living by faith?

“True faith is our obedient response to the Word of God”. [Wiersbe]

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Genesis 22

Genesis 22

 

Father – Abraham Father God
Son of Abraham – Isaac – son of Promise Son of God – Jesus – Promised Messiah
Sacrifice/burnt offering (for sin) Sacrifice for sin of world
Mt in the region of Moriah Mt. Calvary – outside Jerusalem – region of Moriah
Donkey Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey
Wood The cross
Fire / knife – instruments of death / judgement Jesus died bearing God’s judgement for the world’s sin
Arrived in region of Moriah on 3rd day Rose from the dead on the 3rd day
Faith in God’s promise – v4. “We will worship … we will come back Matthew 17:22-23 “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life.”
Wood on Isaac Jesus … carrying his own cross
Where is the sacrifice?

God will provide himself a lamb for the burnt offering” v.8

John 1:29 .. John saw Jesus approaching and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
God gave a ram for the sacrifice instead of Isaac 1 John 4:10 God… sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
Abraham proved he would give God everything – v12 .. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.

 

God proved his love to us ——- 1 John 4:10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
Genesis 22:14 … “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.” Jesus died on Mt. Calvary –God’s provision for our sin.
Abraham took God at his word – he believed and obeyed – God called him his friend. God calls all who believe him and obey him his friends

Hebrews 11:17-19 17 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18 even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 19 Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death. (NIV)

 

Genesis 21 – Abraham: A great rift

ABRAHAM: A GREAT RIFT.

GENESIS 21V1-21.

 

INTRODUCTION.

ILLUST: Who would have believed that it could happen? It seemed an impossible situation! To achieve such a result seemed extremely unlikely! Yet the facts speak for themselves! The South Africans beat Australia by 5 runs when Australia needed only 54 runs with 6 wickets in hand. Quite an amazing result.

 

We are always amazed when the unexpected happens!

 

ILLUST: Who would have thought that the tribes men who murdered 5 missionaries in the jungles of Ecuador would in the years to come would become Christians themselves. Through the witness of the wives of some of the men killed. BUT it is true.

 

Totally unexpected, but amazingly true.

 

THE BIRTH OF ISAAC. [V.1-7]

 

With the birth of Isaac to Abraham and Sarah we are not just talking about the unexpected we are talking about the impossible. Abraham was 100 and Sarah was 90!! – it was physically impossible for them to have children. But here at last they have a son!!

Imagine the talk around the camp and even amongst the neighbouring tribes – Maybe Abraham and Sarah had told them what God had promised. “Can you believe it!! Old Sarah has a baby?”

And she [Sarah] added, “Who would have said

to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children” [v7]

God had kept his promises!!  Some 25 years had gone by since Abraham had left Ur and during these years he had received promises from the Lord.

God would bless him — he would have children like the dust of the earth — BUT Abraham remained childless — “Shall Eliezer of Damascus be my heir?? ‘No, one born in your house will be your heir'”  Still no child came then Sarah and Abraham took matters into their own hands. And Sarah gave her maidservant, Hagar, to Abraham to have a child by her [ this was an accepted practice of the time]. But still God said that it would not be Ishmael but one born from Sarah’s own womb. But 13 more years would pass before Isaac was born.

But now we read in 21v1.

Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said,

and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised

 

God is faithful – he always keeps his promises. The birth of Isaac is proof of this fact.

If it were not true that God keeps his promises where would that leave us. Could we trust a God who broke his promises. If God broke his word where would our hope be? Where would our assurance be??

Our salvation is as a result of God’s promise.

“to as many as received him [Jesus]

he [God] gave the right to become children of God [Jn 1]

“If we confess our sins he is faithful and just

and will forgive us our sins

and cleanse us from all unrighteousness [1 Jn 1v9]

 

God’s promises are sure because he is faithful.

“… faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life,

which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time,

and at his appointed season brought his word to light…”

In our day and age we are very sceptical of promises and guarantees.

ILLUST: How do you view the sales pitch of the double-glazing Co. or the car salesman. Is this genuine or are we being ripped off??

 

God is not like that and Abraham knew it.

 

By Faith Abraham, even though he was past age –

and Sarah herself was barren –

was enabled to become a father because he considered

Him faithful who had made the promise.[Heb.11v11]

 

Abraham believed God and never doubted him for a minute!?? Is that true? NO!

Abraham’s faith was up and down – he believed and then he didn’t, and then he did and then he didn’t.

You see the waiting time for the fulfillment of God’s promises is not a waste of time. During the waiting God is testing and developing our faith. Yes, there are ups and downs; periods of doubt and disbelief. But all the time God is preparing us for the time when he will fulfill his promises.

“Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age,

at the very time God had promised him” [21v2]

 

From God’s perspective there was no delay. Isaac was born at just the right time; God is never too early or too late.

From Abraham’s perspective, though, it would seem that God had been dilly-dallying. Why hadn’t God acted sooner?  We only see our little patch, but God sees the whole picture and he knows what we need and when we need it and he always keeps his promises and fufills them at just the right time.

 

 

Abraham and Sarah were ecstatic! They called their baby ISAAC which means “Laughter”. The name given to them by God. When God announced that they would have a son Sarah laughed with scorn. Now they were laughing with Joy.

THE SEPARATION OF ISHMAEL. [V.8-13]

 

When Isaac was wean, probably about the age of three, Abraham threw a party. It was a great day for everyone. Everyone except Ishmael!!

Ishmael was probably about 16 -17 years of age by this time. For all this time he was the one and only son of Abraham and had enjoyed his father’s love. He no doubt expected to be the heir of all that his father had. But now this little baby had displaced him. The spotlight had moved to Isaac.

During the celebration Sarah looked across the crowd and saw Ishmael [the rebel teenager]  mocking Isaac. And all those old feelings of resentment and anger welled up inside her.  In anger she goes to Abraham, probably after the party when the were alone. And she looks him in the eyeballs and says “Get rid of that slave woman and her son

Abraham’s delight turns to distress. Surely this can’t be so?  Ishmael wasn’t in God’s plan; Abraham knew that but he loved Ishmael. He had rasied him for 17 years. Abraham consults God. And God tells Abraham what every Husband doesn’t want to hear “Do what your wife tells you to do.”

Ishmael must go. God promises to look after him but he must go.

 

What is God doing? Well he is setting the stage for an illustration  of a most significant truth.

 

BACKGROUND to Gal.4. Heretics  in the Galatians Churches- Judaizers.  Belivers from a Jewish background who had come to believe that salvation was by faith in Christ plus the adherence to certain OT laws, esp. circumcision.

They were coming to those who had come from paganism to faith in Christ and were saying, “You haven’t been saved, it is all very well to believe in Christ but you must also be circumcised” In other words it is not just faith in Christ but it is Faith plus this and this and this. Faith plus works. Paul attacks this teaching here and in other places in the NT because it was a wide spread heresy  and it is still with us today.

It is too easy to just believe surely I have to do something!!

 

READ Gal. 4v21-25.

 

Jewish nation receieved the law at Mt. Sinai and in time began to think that by keeping this law they could be saved. Not only had they taken the Law of God but they had added all kinds of other laws to it. Jerusalem [Jewish nation] had become bound up in legalism in trying to keep all these laws.

 

READ Gal. 4v25 – 31.

 

 

ISHMAEL

 

1. Son of the slave woman

2. Born in the normal way

3. Representative of the Old Covenant – Sinai-

earthly Jerusalem – centre of Legalistic Judaism.

4. Salvation by works.

5. Leads to slavery – In bondage, always striving, always trying to be accepted by God but never can be.

6. Persecutor.

 

ISAAC

 

1. Son of the free woman

2. Born as a result of promise – supernaturally

3. Represenative of the New Covenant – the Jerusalem that is above.

 

4. Salvation by faith.

5. Freedom – “If the son {Jesus} shall set you free then you are truly free”

 

6. Persecuted

 

 

There is something about the teaching of salvation by works that reaccts to the doctrine of salvation by faith. People get angry when you tell them that their is no other way to salvation except by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ.

READ  Gal.4v29 Again

 

At that time the son born in the ordinary way

persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit.

It is the same now!

But what does the scripture say?

“Get rid of the slave woman and her son,

for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance

with the free woman’s son” [Gal.4v29-30]

 

NO compatibility between legalism and faith. Before you can be saved you have to accept that there is nothing you can do to save yourself. It is all of God.

 

ILLUST: Contrast – the good person – the DIY salvationist AND the bad guy who cries to God for salvation with his dying breath. Which one will be saved?

The one who depends totally on God.

 

God waited until there was nothing that Abraham and Sarah could do. They were utterly helpless. Then God gave them Isaac.

Ishmael was simply the result of two people coming together in sexual union. Isaac was as a result of a miracle of God. Salvation is miraculous new birth – it is not the result of you working, or striving to improve yourself in order to make yourself more acceptable to God.

This whole incident illustrates the central truth of Christianity. Salvation by faith in Christ apart from works.

 

GOD’S CARE OF HAGAR AND ISHMAEL. [V14-21]

 

“Early the next morning”

Abraham obey immediately – it is not always easy to know exactly what God want. But when he has made it clear then we must obey right away. When we don’t it is always to our cost and often at the cost of others.

Single parents and needy teenagers are not new. Here was Hagar cast out with her teenage son Ishmael. But they were not alone – God heard their cries and in his kindness and mercy he cared for them as he had promised Abraham he would.

Hagar’s life had been full of trouble but the thing we need to notice is that the trouble in her life had not been of her own making. She was a slave girl whom Abraham acquired when in went down to Egypt in a period of disobedience. She was given to Abraham by Sarah so that they could have a child – again Abraham’s and Sarah’s disobedience and lack of faith. Now she was being sent away  with her teenage son.

Hagar and Ishmael were hurt by others – they were the victims of the sins and disobedience of others.

God’s care of Ishmael and Hagar is proof of his kindness to those people who are victims of the sins of others. There are many who suffer because of the sins of others.

 

ILLUST: Children – misused and abused. Wives whose husband’s have walked out on them. Emplyees whose bosses have mistreared them.

 

The message to those who have suffered because of the sins of others is, God cares.

There in the desert Hagar and Ishmael cried out to God and God heard and came near and He was with them. God made Ishmael into a great nation. God didn’t fix everything up! There are certain circumstances of life that just don’t get fixed but He was with them and showed them his infinite kindness.

If you are suffering because of the sins of others, know this, GOD CARES.

 

The birth of Isaac shows God keeps his promises.

The separation of Ishmael illustrates God’s rejection of salvation by works.

His care of Hagar and Ishmael shows God’s infinite kindness.

Outline of Genesis

OUTLINE OF GENESIS

I. Introduction   [1:1 – 2:3]

II. Body [2:4 – 50:26]

A.   “The account of the heavens  the earth” (2:4 – 4:26)

B.   “The account of Adam’s line” (5:1 – 6:8)

C.   “The account of Noah” (6:9 – 9:29)

D.   “The account of Shem, Ham & Japheth” (10:1 – 11:9)

E.   “The account of Shem” (11:10 – 26)

F.   “The account of Terah” (11:27 – 25:11)

G.  “The account of Abraham’s son Ishmael” (25:12 – 18)

H.   “The account of Abraham’s son Isaac” (25:19 – 35:29)

I.    “The account of Esau” (36:1 – 37:1)

J.   “The account of Jacob” (37:2 – 50:26)

GENESIS

INTRODUCTION.

Genesis – gk. origins, source creation [LXX]

– Hb. opening words “In the beginning ..”  –both apt titles for the subject matter of this book.

Describes beginnings of universe, world, humankind, human institutions (eg. marriage), the nations  and the people of God (Israel).

There are many early stories of how the world came into being  [The Gilgamesh epics and the Sumerian Flood stories] – about the gods having wars in heaven, marriying each other and having children etc.

BUT Genesis protrayes God as ONE GOD who is creator[1v1], Lord and Judge. He is a God who is beyond time – the sun moon and stars were ofteh worshipped as gods BUT this God created all things

AUTHOR.

Traditionally Moses –  (c.1300 BC) – the book itself doesn’t say that it was written by Moses – there has been much debate which I won’t go into – Moses of course came many years after the events of Genesis but there is no reason why he could not have written this account drawing on the oral accounts of creation, flood, Abraham etc. past down from one generation to another.

THE BOOK.

Genesis divides into two neat section ch.1 – 11 Pre-Abraham and 12 – 50 Abraham on – There have been those who claim that Abraham on is history aBUT before that is just mythical story to try and explain the beginnings of the world.

However the literary structure of the book show that it is carefully structured and it is illogical to say it is two-types of literature when the author does not say that.

At the beginning of every section excluding the intro. — section not equal in length — the author put “The account of ….”

 

 

SEE outline!!

1:1 – 2:4.

It this section a poem or hymn? It is uncertain – but what is clear is that it carefully structure and in itself show the ordiliness and structure to God’s creative activity. God is a God of order and it is shown in this first Chapter.

Days of forming

Days of filling

1. “light” [v.3]

2. “water under the

expanse …water above

it” [v.7]

3a. “dry ground” [v.9]

3b. “vegetation” [v.11] 4. “lights” [v.14]

5. “every living/moving

thing in water …

every winged bird”

[v.21]

6a. “land animals and

creatures” [v.24]

“humankind” [v.26]

6b. “every green plant

for food” [v.30]

DAY – what is meant by this??  Heb. word covers a variety of periods —

          -the hours of daylight  – Genesis 29:7

7 “Look,” he said, “the sun {DAY} is still high; it is not time for the flocks to be gathered. Water the sheep and take them back to pasture.” (NIV)

          – a 24 hour day  Genesis 7:4 4 Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.” (NIV)

          – an indefinite period – Genesis 35:3 3 Then come, let us go up to Bethel, where I will build an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and who has been with me wherever I have gone.” (NIV)

What is important about the days of Genesis is that God worked for 6 ‘days’ – whatever that period is and then rested on the seventh day — this is the pattern for us to follow!!

***- Genesis chapter one is a wonderful hymn of praise to God  — there is a progression through the chapter of the God who brings into being a universe — sun, moon, stars, earth, sea and sky – all living creatures and plants and the pinnacle of his creation is people.

All this God creates from nothing. The word create in verse 1 implies out of nothing – God spoke [declared – not necessarily audibly but he willed it ] — and it was there.

NB – the word used in v.26 “made / formed” man is a different word because God used already created material.

WHAT ABOUT THE BIBLE AND SCIENCE?

Firstly the Bible is not a science text Book – it is not intended to be – it is God message to people about his love and offer of redemption.

That does not mean that the Bible is unscientific – but it is not written in scientific language –

Secondly it uses idiomatic language of its time – as we do – don’t impose on the language of the Bible what we would not would not impose on our own language.

ILLUS.: We speak abot the 4 corners of the globe!!! Does it have corners??

What about evolution?  We can’t deal with Genesis without mentioning it! Unfortunately discussion on this is often heated and not always well informed!

The point about evolution is that something that was not human changed into something that is human. Or  a fish eventually changed into a bird etc…

The word KIND in the Bible is not equivalent to oue English word species – it is probably like our word KIND  a loose grouping. Thus after it kind means that a cat will reproduce a cat, a dog a dog and so on. We know that there are sometime mutations and freaks but essentially the offspring is the same as the parent.

But the quest is always to answer the age old question – “Where did we come from?”

READ Young “In the beginning” pp.54-56.

 

QUESTIONS???

POEM

The thing that makes people different is that we are “made in his image” — we are spiritual beings and NOT only physical – yes sin has damaged that image but it is because of that image that we are redeemable!

As we look at this passage we can’t help but get the impression that all these wonderful things were created for the benefit of people and for people to enjoy. It seems that all of God’s creative work was to provide a home for us to live in.

It is so easy to get involved in debating the difficulties of Genesis 1 – and there are difficulties, I will not pretend we have all the answers, but evolution has less answers–

BUT  look at the wonder of God’s creation and see how much there is to enjoy – The majestic mountains – the rolling plains – the pretty lake district – the raging sea – the animals – the birds – the insects – the plants –

Different smells – sizzling bacons – fresh coffee – newly baked bread

The sounds – birds – the wind and rain – children playing –

People – creative – art – music – love – kindness – opportunities that God has given us to enjoy — it is easy to focus on the bad things in the world — but it is not all bad – When God made it he said it was good — and as Christians, more than any others group we should appreciate and care for God’s creation.

QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS

Hymn 334 -HoF – v.2    Heaven above is softer blue,

Earth around is sweeter green;

Something lives in every hue

Christiless eyes have never seen:

Birds with gladder songs o’erflow,

Flowers with deeper beauties shine,

Since I know, as now I know,

I am His, and He is mine!